Suppose while walking alone in a daylit park, you encountered something
like the image above — except that it was rapidly and liquidly
morphing into new simple and complex shapes as it moved about on
the ground. Presume that its colors are not as shown, but are complex
patterns that reflect the colors of objects in its near environment.
Imagine that the speed of its changing shape is fast, but not so
fast as to be a blur, and it is emitting strange vibrational musical
sounds, which modulate in synchrony with its articulate extrusions.
How would you decide what class of phenomenon you were experiencing?
The answer is that to interact with an experiential symmetry of
any possible sort in terms of knowing and remembering we must metaphy
or conceptualize it, and this is a form of filtering.
The forms we have access to change what our mind is and does, as
well as ‘how it connects’ to experience and other symmetries,
in general, and what our opportunities for communication are, in
particular. Let’s take a moment to examine the common palette
from which we might begin to select a particular vehicle of relationShip
with this phenomenon:
A: A hallucination (i.e: something having no
reality beyond our own imaginal experience)
[problem: language, ideas about classes, names and relationships
are all imaginary, and thus using this as a reason to discard or
denegrate experience is absurd because we only have experience in
coupling with ‘imagination’. The popular passtime of
denigrating imagination requires imagination to be proposed
or enacted and is thus self-negating as a logical proposition.]
B: An alien (a non-terrestrial life form)
C: An energy-creature (a form of life considered impossible
since no ‘proof’ of them exists)
D: An angel (a being from the universe ours is an emanation
E: A strange machine (some form of non-human mechanical
[F. Something that matches no currently available class or instance
The first choice we make in metaphying the experience sets the
shape of all future activity as regards the experience, and forms
the substrates of character and meaning with which we will encode
or recapitulate memories or stories about it.
What toys do we use to enter these gardens and select our answers?
Why do we only select from a given set in which all the members
were formed by distant others?
Do our lexicons work?
Imagine that as a speices
we possess a pair of adjustable sunglasses with a unique power:
they are designed to block out transports of unity.
physical universe, transports of unity are bright, like their elemental
counterparts in stars. But they are bright in a domain where we
have no eyes — we only have something like ‘billions
of feelers’. So these glasses are designed, in a sense, to
allow us to have control over the essential brightness in an inward
universe: the cognitive universe we are becoming in concert
with what we refer to as our ‘environment’.
say the purpose of these inner-eye filters to give us control over
whether what we see inwardly values generality first (one
brightness) or specificity first (many brightnesses, each
divisible). In language this difference could be seen by comparing
a parable, or a fairy-tale to, for example, an accounting ledger.
that these sunglasses have a little knob — a sort of tuning
apparatus — and they can be adjusted over a bandwidth for
what they block out, or make invisible.
‘volume’ all the way down, one can see and experience
the complete unification of all participants, scales of size, elements,
transports, contexts, lineages, purposes, sources and futures.
volume all the way up, everything is totally separated, there are
no transports of connectivity, and the experience is one of total
glasses control how much connectivity we have with the universes
within and around us, and they do this by limiting what we can see
of this connectivity, and thus have direct access to. Because of
what they subtract it quickly becomes hard to remember that
they can be removed, — we rapidly forget we are bathing
in more than the whole spectrum of their many possible linear ‘settings’.
It is the shielding they provide which we actually value.
At the lowest setting, someone wearing our cognitive
sunglasses would experience all of organismal activity, history
and sentience as a unified animal — existing with(in) themselves
in a ‘unityPlace’ something like their imagination —
yet distinct from our common definition of this dimension. From
this vantage the wearer would notice some extremely unexpected features
of what humans call time.
With the volume all the way up, the experience of
isolation expands so rapidly that it is hard to even remember that
one can adjust the volume in the other direction. As one leaps away
from generality and unity toward specificity — the paths back
toward one’s origins get badly clouded by branchings —
and then disappear altogether.
Although we have been imagining, we do in fact possess
a working analog of with these glasses, and their lenses are formed
of language. Their frames would represent ‘games about formal
meaning’ or ‘metaphor’ — and the knob we
adjust the attenuation with... that’s what we might call a
logic. Not Logic, but a specific and informal (yet generally formal)
relationship with how we assemble meaning, which is unique in each
instance, no matter how habitually our references to such things
and momentums fail to imply or sustain this fact.
Since the beginning of our relationship with this
cognitive artifact grave perils have arisen for our species and
our world, simply because we have forgotten how to take the glasses
Now, what is this brightness they are shielding us
Sometime in the history of Earth an event occurred
which is recorded in every form and character of Life on our world.
In fact there were many such events, each uniquely situated in the
ladders organismal sentience is still climbing toward its often
unimaginably majestic goals. There is one event in particular, however,
which has concerned me since childhood, and that is the rise of
human sentience from its organismal and animalian precursors.
Generally, our sciences and even our religions train
us to pursue these questions as though a special gift were somehow
‘magically’ bestowed upon our species alone
from amongst the many children of Earth; a gift whose powers of
enaction lifted our species to a unique position in the organismal
Thus we are generally obliged to believe that humans
aren’t really like animals, because we have some extra powers
— supposedly. Yet this ‘implicit’ understanding
too often falsely colors the realities of our experience of organismal
sentience, and of the nurseries it arises and sometimes flourishes
There is another perspective on the arisal of complex
representational sentience on Earth, and its obviousness has for
some reason never led to its common observation or discussion. It
is that as living diversity emerges in co-elaboration and perhaps
competition — it will tend over time to accrue a momentum
in sets of relational dimensions which are hyper-expansive. This
results in the invention of terrains for this momentum
or potential to become manifest. Tiny magnifications in complexity
and diversity lead to explosively geometric increases in the potential
for and activation of novel transports (and thus expressions) of
relation. In a computer, this is interesting — but on a living
world, it is explosively generative of biorelational symmeteries
— such as animals, ecosystems, cells and human beings. It
generates billions of modes and forms and moments of organismal
awareness. Essentially ‘alien knowing’.
As our terrestrial nursery undergoes explosive cycles
of organismal variation, thriving, and extinction — the preserved
complexity and diversity of the survivors is being by turns enhanced
and compressed. The compression is of a sort that becomes rapidly
explosive, but explodes in a way that establishes dimensions
rather than erasing them. It is something like pure sentience-precursor,
cultivating itself in ever more diverse and complex contexts, transports
and vehicles of biocognitive relation.
Turns out that it is possible to engineer
a perpetual motion device, and you can engineer one that gains
amplitude of expression in geometric leaps which reach absurd
speeds and complexities almost instantly. The problem is
making it explode in a way that generates life and complex diversity
rather than reducing them to their energetic constituents rapidly.
The reason we can’t do this as easily with technology
is simple: when you create scalarly self-amplifying standing waves
in ‘things’ — they explode. When you do this in
a biocognitive dimension... eventually you get something akin to
human sentience. The sunglasses we use shield us from the incredible
inward brightness of the self-magnifying explosion that we are
and are with(in).
By their underlying inferences the physical sciences
train us to value individuals and species as the primary conservators
of biological and cognitive complexity. This move subtly manipulates
us to see the structure as most significant and deserving of precedence,
and is materialistically biased. It is in fact the content which
has precedence, and this is largely obscured by hidden choices
make when agreeing with common models, logics of identity, and
Evolution, we are told, is a process requiring vast
epochs to produce even the smallest attenuations in organismal form.
But organisms are not merely their forms. What we find apparent
in careful examination is that evolutionary complexity is preserved
as much in the transports of organismal relation and in environments
as it is in individuals, or separate assemblies of given members.
What this turns out to mean is that there are hidden wells of motive
energies that find expression in what we call evolution, and they
are not competitive — but relational.
What Earth has been doing for about the past 4.5
billion years is something far beyond anything we have a metaphor
of. The endless relational symmetries of Life here have been assembling
a scalarly recombinant sentience explosion. It‘s
the biocognitive equivalent to rapidly cultivating galaxies
— and the media required is cognitive, or relational, rather
than ‘purely physical’.
And for at least the past 1500 years, our species
has been tearing it limb from limb, without realizing that those
are our own limbs, in realtime.
The way it works out in nature is that living worlds
assemble uniquely recombinant biodiversity as a relational asset,
and then they labor to sustain and elaborate this basis to empower
them to accomplish further leaps into new dimensions of scale and
complexity. What we’re calling complexity translates into new abilities, and eventally new forms of ability. In this kind of game, abundance of diverse forms is
the best of all treasures, in part because it is recombinantly hypergenerative
and also because unexpected cataclysm is a common and well-remembered
feature of terrestrial and biocognitive history here.
In times of sudden or protracted crisis, abundant
animalian-scale biodiversity equates to something of a shock-absorber
for the planet as an animal. The more complex and vital the established
populations are, the better able they are to sustain at least some
of their complex members and relationships across the gap of cataclysm.
This potential (when sufficient in comparison to the crisis) also
results in ‘faster healing’ — the surviving niches
and individuals will all garner non-linearly expanding benefit from
any relational diversity that survives with them.
Over long periods of terrestrial time, what ends up
happening is that radical cycles of abundance and impoverishment
occur almost haphazardly. In a game of ‘suddenly arising seasons’
the vast complexity of Earth has been furiously in bloom, only to
find itself nearly extinguished in the next instant. The prevalence
and recurrence of this pattern is one of the most profound revelations
of the fossil record, but we do not need fossils to find it recorded
hereabouts — it is written into the cellular and animalian
memory of every lifeform on our world.
If any competition exists, it is competition to be
included with those who will continue to exist primarily for
the sake of each other the biospheric entity — and not the common human
idea of competition for abstract survival of individuals or breeding-lines that we are commonly blindsided
by. The engine behind evolution isn’t competition, its co-ignition
— and that’s an essential part of why we find the organismal
universe so vitally poetic and charactered — because the source-momentums
being expressed are themselves profoundly generative of character,
Each terrestrial creature generally recapitulates
the cognitive history of their entire planet, in a phase-domain
relevant to their positions in the tree of the emergence of life.
Thus each organism will re-experience and re-express (in an entirely
unique local way) the specific cognitive history of their species,
and perhaps moreso of their lineages — but also of their world,
and their universe.
This is also true of our cognitive development, by
which I mean to say that children born now would be reExperiencing
and reExpressing all of the early phases of the acquisition of human
consciousness — as well as the most up-to-date changes in
the cogniscium of Earth and our species as a whole. The adults would
be experiencing and expressing something similar, but not from a
perspective where they could actualize their contact with these
flows and momentums. In general, at least in our society, such experiences
and expressions would be diagnosed away. No one around here understands
this well enough to grant us direct access to the connective realities
of ‘what we are and may become’. At least, not in any
way that is even vaguely in accord with the vastness of the domains
But let us return to our game in which a living planet
is like a sentience lens. We could accurately say that it is sunlight
which is the source of organismal activity and sentience —
but this would be a false and ‘single-position’ perspective
which while useful, is still too much of a trap. If we understand
the general shape of what has been going on in organismal reality
(rather than scientific models of it) more accurately, a peculiar
and seemingly impossible picture begins to assemble itself from
the fuzzy portions that assemble themselves in the in-between of
our models and sciences.
The picture is one of a sentient library
learning itself. And well within the frame are human powers of assembly
and mutual uplift beyond anything all our human religions combined
could shed light on. Stories such as these can only shed light if
they rapidly result in their own erasure — due to having
provided direct access to what they were referring to.
Organisms don’t use or need laws or formal systems
of problem-solving. They are recombinantly and innovatively relational.
Laws are useless in terrains where relation and circumstance are
the actual ‘rulers’. What is useful...are ways...of
relation. In other words: transports — instead of artifacts
built from memories of contact with a single transport.
In a very general sense we are speaking of Trees.
Trees of transports along which the fruit of organismal sentience
was ever-more completely and diversely arriving...such that entirely
new dimensions of Trees and Fruit... would arise and sustain themselves
explosively in the wake of the first organismal gestures on our